Best Tips For Spring Cleaning When You Have Eczema!

Best Tips For Spring Cleaning When You Have Eczema!

It’s around this time of year when people decide to have a spring clean of their homes. Well, spring cleaning when you have Eczema often requires a little more than a feather duster, some antibacterial wipes and the hoover…

Why not pin it for later?

I know that for me personally, cleaning can be a massive trigger for both my skin and my allergies. I’ll break out in rashes on my hands, face and neck and I’ll be sneezing for hours. So I’ve put together a few tips that I find helpful to make sure that even with your Eczema, you can still have that spring clean!

So get your best cleaning tunes on and grab your marigolds and let’s do our spring cleaning!

Make sure to read CC’s Ultimate Guide to Itchy Skin for the low down on what exactly you’re dealing with when it comes to Eczema!

Cover Up and Protect Your Skin

I personally take this tip very seriously when I’m doing a big clean. I fully suit up like I’m heading into some kind of secret mission. The thing is? It really does help!

My skin can get very triggered by the use of cleaning products and from dust being thrown up into the air. So I take precautions by making sure to cover as much of my skin as I can.

When I’m cleaning I’ll go the whole hog; gloves, face mask, long sleeves, long trousers, and boots. Admittedly, I don’t look particularly sane when I’m scrubbing at the sink in this get up. But that’s something I’m willing to sacrifice to prevent a flare up!

Obviously you don’t necessarily need to go to those extremes. It just depends how much cleaning can trigger your skin. If it tends to have a bad reaction to cleaning products, it’s worth covering up.

I would advise choosing light, breathable fabrics such as cotton. These can allow your skin to breathe and help prevent irritation from sweat. 

When choosing gloves, the traditional marigolds aren’t a bad option. But do be careful as many rubber gloves contain Latex and should be avoided (especially if you have a Latex allergy). Probably the best way to go is cotton gloves or liners for things like dusting. Then cover those with waterproof gloves for when you’re washing or wiping down surfaces. 

Again, this is a great way to prevent sweating which can irritate your skin and cause your Eczema to flare. If your hands are particularly sensitive, make sure to give them a break from the gloves every 15-20 minutes.

Make sure to cover up your Eczema with gloves when cleaning!

Throw Open Those Windows

When you’re cleaning dirt, dust and allergens are disturbed. They become airborne  and you’re at risk of breathing them in or landing on your skin and causing irritation.

Make sure to combat this by keeping the area well ventilated while you’re cleaning. Open those windows and let in that fresh air. 

It’ll keep the air flowing and those airborne allergens will be blown out the window. 

This also helps to prevent any fumes from your cleaning products from building up. Cleaning products like bleach can have really strong fumes. Other than opting to use homemade products or more sensitive products, opening a window is always best.

The only thing with opening windows, it means they’re also open to allergens that might come in from outside. Spring is the season for pollen so just be careful if you suffer with hay-fever!

Be Picky About Your Products

This is a skill that has transferred over from having to make sure I’m using skin friendly products in all aspects. From the moisturisers I use, to my laundry detergent – I have to check the ingredients and make sure they’re not going to cause any irritation.

The same applies to your cleaning products. Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals and fragrances. These can become a recipe for causing an Eczema flare up while you’re cleaning. 

Find Eczema friendly cleaning products

If you can, try to be aware of which ingredients trigger you and make sure the products you’re using do not contain them. Try to find cleaning products that are fragrance free or specifically designed for people with sensitive skin. 

As these types of cleaning products are not always widely available, you might want to look into making your own. Homemade cleaning products tend to have fewer ingredients. Plus, you’re making it yourself so you’ll know exactly what’s gone into it!

Vinegar and baking soda are often used to make cleaning products at home. Because usually all that’s added is water, it tends to be a bit more kind to those of us with sensitive skin.

Take It One Room At A Time

Spring cleaning can be overwhelming so it’s important to tackle it strategically. I like to go one room at a time.

Firstly, I want to admit that while I do think these tips are valuable and they help me – I am a giant procrastinator. So my spring cleaning usually takes from a weekend up to a week. But I’ve definitely found that by compartmentalising it into each room, it makes it a lot easier to get through.

Plus, by taking it one room at a time I’m able to take breaks between rooms. This gives my skin a break from the cleaning products, the protective gear and I’m able to cool down when I’ve worked up a sweat!

Living Room

Your living room is as good a place as any to start. Rooms like this can become magnets for dust. The big furniture doesn’t get moved often so dirt and dust can build up around and under it. Things like your sofas, bookcases, tv stands, etc.

Make sure when you’re doing a big spring clean of your living room, you move the furniture. Vacuum and wipe down the backs and all the way underneath them. This goes for your rugs and carpets too!

Dust all surfaces, ideally with a damp cloth. A lot of times, microfibre cloths are recommended. I have tried them and they do tend to pick up a lot of the dust. Unfortunately, I find that the material really sets off my sensory issues, just the feeling of the microfibre. So I stick to a regular duster or dishcloth and dampen it slightly.

Bedroom

It’s so important to minimise the allergens in your bedroom when you have Eczema. Most people that struggle with Eczema find that their skin tends to be itchiest at night. So making sure that your bedroom is a place with minimal irritants for your skin is definitely a priority.

A good way to do this is by making sure you’re using the right kind of bedding. Hypoallergenic is usually the best way to go. Pillows, sheets, duvets all of it needs to be kind to your skin. 

I would also suggest that during the spring and the summer, consider sleeping with just a sheet rather than your duvet. Keeping cool is a good way to make sure your Eczema doesn’t become irritated during the night. A light cotton sheet is best as it will keep you cool and help absorb any sweat that would otherwise linger on your skin.

Want more ideas on how to keep your skin cool this Summer? Check out 5 Eczema Friendly Ways to Keep Cool In Summer for some tips!

Bathroom

When it comes to the bathroom, generally they tend to be kept pretty clean already. Hygiene, right? 

A lot of cleaning products made for the bathroom can have strong fumes and be particularly irritating to sensitive skin. For example, I find that bleach can sometimes cause my eyes to itch and my skin to come up in a rash. 

Take heed of tip one and be careful of the products you use and consider making your own. 

To give the bathroom a good spring clean, you want to focus on eliminating any mould. Wash or replace your shower curtain as this can be a key spot for mould to grow. 

Putting it simply, all you really need to do with your bathroom is stick to the basics. Wipe down the surfaces, empty the bins and mop the floor. Easy peasy!

Kitchen

Okay, time to clear out the kitchen! Typically, there aren’t too many allergens hanging around your kitchen. There isn’t much dust gathering and surfaces are wiped down often. So, it’s a little easier making sure your kitchen is Eczema friendly!

Depending how deep a spring clean you’re looking for, I would start by emptying the cupboards. Wipe them down and get rid of anything that’s expired or that you don’t want. 

Other than that, you’ll just want to make sure you’re keeping your surfaces clean. If you have food allergies or you know that there are certain foods which tend to set off your Eczema ensure you’re on top of that. Clean your utensils and cooking equipment, such as your pots and pans. If you live in a shared home, try to keep triggering food items in their own separate area from your own foods.

A clean kitchen can help keep your Eczema from flaring

You’ll probably have your own set cleaning routine for your space and I don’t want to get in the way of that! That being said, if you are looking for a way to spring clean without setting off your Eczema? I’d definitely try out a few of the tips above.

The first thing I’d emphasise the most is to vacuum everywhere (carpets, sofas, bed, anywhere dust mites could be hiding!). And the second thing is to ensure there’s good ventilation. 

The last thing you want to do is stir up all that dust and those irritants into the air only for them to have nowhere to go! All they’ll do is linger for you to breathe in or resettle in your home.

Keep Calm, It’s Just Cleaning

My final tip of the day is probably the most important one. When spring cleaning with Eczema you need to keep calm.

Stress is Eczema’s arch enemy. You get stressed and it’s a sure thing that your skin is going to punish you for having such foolish feelings. For this reason, keeping calm while cleaning is essential.

I know from experience that when I’m cleaning, I can get stressed fast. It’ll be over something silly like I’m not getting everything done quick enough or I’m becoming overwhelmed by it all. So how can you combat the dreaded stress?

Plan and Pace Yourself

When you know you’re due a big spring clean, make a plan. It doesn’t have to be perfect but having a rough idea of what needs doing can make it so much easier. You can work through it methodically rather than running around like a headless chicken doing odd bits here and there. 

BUT there is one side note to this! Do not beat yourself up if you don’t stick rigidly to the plan. If you start worrying because you didn’t get x, y and z done on the day you’d allocated, you’re going to get stressed. If it takes a little longer to get something done, it’s fine. Don’t rush things just to stick to the plan. They’re more like guidelines anyway…

Distract Yourself

We all know just how boring cleaning can be (unless you’re one of those people that really enjoy it – if you are, you’re lucky!). I always find that cleaning is made easier when I put music on. 

I get my favourite tunes playing nice and loud and just sing my way through the dusting. This isn’t in particular an Eczema thing, I know my auntie has a cleaning playlist as well. But it is helpful for keeping your stress levels down. 

It distracts you from the work you’re doing and makes it overall a little more fun!

If music isn’t your thing, a good option could be a podcast you’ve been really into lately. Or maybe that audiobook you were half way through? As long as it makes you happy and helps you to keep stress at bay, then go for it!

Cleaning Can Be Rewarding

If you’re anything like me, you’ll get stressed out because you’re procrastinating and not making the progress you could be. I’ve found a good way to fight this, is with rewards. This is no groundbreaking discovery, we all know that rewards are good motivators. But I sometimes find that I beat myself up more than I should. Things that I should be able to get done super quickly can often be hindered because of my skin. I have to be sure to make allowances for that and rewards are a good way of reminding myself I’m still doing a good job.

Your rewards don’t have to be anything drastic – don’t go promising yourself a new car when you most definitely cannot keep that promise!

Mine are usually things like:

Complete the bedroom and you can watch an episode of Friends.”

Finish hoovering if you want that meal you love for tea.

They’re just little things but they help me keep going when I’m getting stressed and worked up. You’ve got to remember to celebrate the little wins that you have as you go!

And breathe…!

The final step to spring cleaning when you have Eczema? Take a seat and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve done some good work!

When you have a skin condition like Eczema, it can make things like cleaning much harder than they might usually be. There’s a lot you have to think about and take into consideration. 

You have to know what you’re using and whether it might cause a flare up. You have to be aware of potential irritants and ensure you’re minimising them, rather than simply moving them around. From products to skin protection, just do your best to create a happy and friendly environment for your sensitive skin. 

Managing Eczema requires finding your own way of doing things and working out what works best for you. So while I hope these tips are helpful, you also need to be patient and adaptable when finding your best cleaning practices.

So there you have it, those are my top tips for safe spring cleaning when you have Eczema! Let me know what you think and if there’s anything I missed! Do you have a foolproof trick for making sure your skin doesn’t flare while you’re cleaning? Leave a comment!

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